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Perfect Health Diet alleges 4 dangers of Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 06, 2010 at 4:43 AM

The blog Perfect Health Diet attributes four dangers to the paleo diet:

  1. Carbohydrate deficiency: we can't meet our glucose needs with such small livers.
  2. Mucus Deficiency & Gastrointestinal Cancer: Providing glucose directly will offset the problem in #1.
  3. Scurvy: low insulin hinders our ability to recycle vitamin C.
  4. Kidney Stones: lots of EPA & DHA increase the risk of calcium oxalate stones in our kidneys.

Should we take these 4 dangers seriously?

[For what it is worth, I follow the paleo diet pretty strictly, though I eat a lot 'okay' food such as high fat yogurt, kefir, and dark chocolate; plus I drink 1 beer at bars before switching to gin and soda.]

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 10, 2011
at 10:17 PM

Didn't you just a while ago claim that the Vitamin C problem is "ridiculous"? How quickly you change your feet? Maybe you should be a little more measure and reflective before sharing your thoughts. http://paleohacks.com/questions/68989/what-did-you-think-about-this-roundtable-email-questionaire-that-jimmy-moore-comp/69017#69017

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on October 10, 2011
at 10:17 PM

"There are thousands of articles that ...." I challenge you to back that claim up. Show me thousands. I'll settle for one thousand articles. I'd prefer the "articles" to be peer-reviewed studies, but I'll settle for articles.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on October 10, 2011
at 10:15 PM

Well done, Paul. You have managed to remain civil and discuss an issue without resorting to childish name calling and ad hominem attacks. You've even condeded a point that you needed to concede. It's too bad others can't follow your example. Oh, and you adhere to basic rules of grammar and usage, which makes you readable. Kudos, sir.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:58 PM

Quilt, don't you realize that HCC is mainly due to HBV which stems from access to immunization? Also, the prevalence of stomach/esophagus cancer has been attributed to the consumption of pickled veggies in that region. PHD did not attribute the prevalence of stomach/esophageal cancer to ketogenic diets; there's far too few people doing such diets in the first place. It was a comment based on anecdotal accounts of those who pursued Kwasinowski's Optimum Health Diet who died from such cance. OHD was actually zero carb.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:34 PM

I think paul may have some good ideas on zero carb.....but there is a segment of our human population who does great long term with it. They tend to have great control of sympathetic brainstem outflow tracts, high function adrenals and superb livers.....and all are very leptin sensitive. These people are not common so no one really talks about them much. I have had the pleasure of seeing a few dozen in my career......they taught me much.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:03 PM

Actually neither a Paleo diet nor a ketogenic diet --a zero-carb diet. Happy Now, I'll have more on that in the next day as I reply to Jimmy Moore's "safe starch" symposium. But you can search PaleoHacks for "dry eyes" for examples.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Quilt, there's no basis for the idea that you need insulin to generate GI cancers. Indeed, the Ames test readily induces carcinogenic changes in human cells without any insulin in the culture dish. I agree that a Paleo diet is a good one for cancer prevention, that's why I advocate a Paleo diet. The point about liver size we retracted in a later post.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:59 PM

Lucas is good, but he seems to have misread our posts; they were about zero-carb dangers, not ketogenic diet dangers. We agree that with proper formulation ketogenic diets can be safe, and have written about how to achieve that. Also, his posts hardly debunked ours. They suggest some alternative possibilities, but in terms of mechanisms both our post and his are speculative. Both could be wrong. Regardless of what the mechanisms may be, it doesn't change the fact that some people run into health problems on extremely low-carb diets.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:54 PM

Thanks, Frank. Yes, we're a Paleo diet, we're hardly trying to discredit Paleo!

0c939bdddc3d8f8ef923ba8a72aeda71

on September 24, 2011
at 09:21 AM

Agreed, Lucas is awesome.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:44 PM

Since I treat humans clinically and see the results I think I have my eye on the prize. I find it funny that most of the gastrointestinal cancers world wide are in India and the Far east.......stomach and pancreatic cancer is off the chain their. The number one world wide CA is hepatocellular CA from Hep C and D also endemic in that part of the world. These things must be recommended in context.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:41 PM

There are thousands of articles that show the benefits of ketogenic diet. I think when you have a diet book to sell it kinda pigeon holes you a bit. There is no one diet for everyone. Its all about individual biochemistry. The PHD is one that incorporates personal biochemical findings. I think Paul's book is quite for many people......its just not good for most of the patients I see. I think for the younger paleo crowd its full of great advice. IF you want to see a bunch of medicare people with neolithic disease and diabetes and osteoporosis this is not my top choice.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Could someone please explain what a mucus deficiency is? Sounds suspect.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:37 PM

Lucas is a great source and I love his work. And he does not have a book to sell either.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 07, 2010
at 04:39 AM

Ambimorph, yes could be that in snowy areas, little carb was eating in winter. Then again, I never really believed that our ancestors were too stupid to store food for the winter and carby foods tend to store well. IMO, the only places on very low carb long term would be polar regions and the innuit have a highly specialized diet that most of us would not be willing to replicate.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on December 06, 2010
at 06:19 PM

I think in some places and times, much of the year was very low carb.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on December 06, 2010
at 05:41 PM

Why not mention Andrew's question on this? Lots of good stuff at http://paleohacks.com/questions/14028/carbohydrate-deficiency

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on December 06, 2010
at 06:57 AM

Somehow I overlooked that they were specifically discussing zero-carb, and not paleo, diets. Frank, thanks for pointing that out.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on December 06, 2010
at 05:48 AM

dangers of a low carb diet, yes.

B4aa2df25a6bf17d22556667ff896170

(851)

on December 06, 2010
at 05:12 AM

sounds more like dangers of a ketogenic diet than a paleo diet

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7 Answers

20
5f05a3dc01fd7d628c5035047c27c2b7

on December 06, 2010
at 05:45 AM

Sorry, you must not have read the blog posts carefully. Perfect Health Diet is cautioning against "zero carb" diets, something that most paleo folks never get close to obtaining. Most paleo dieters eat more carbs than Atkins-induction folks. The recipes I see on paleo blogs do make my mouth water, but when I see things like maple syrup, honey, cashews and the like ... I know they are not as low carb as an induction-phase meal.

In extreme cases, including the author's own experience, those shooting for "zero carb" introduce some health problems. Does anyone really think that no carbs were consumed, at all, by our ancestors? When tubers, berries, etc. were available they were eaten, and while our ancestors never had modern dwarf wheat products, they did eat a diet that included some carbohydrates (probably about 20 - 25% of calories). In our modern diets, we eat things like broccoli (3+g of net carbs in a cup), plain "high fat" yogurt (10g per cup), apples (19g of carbs), etc. Going "zero carb" means you eat mostly meat, with very little foods from other sources.

The link to the blog posts start with part one at http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1032

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on December 06, 2010
at 06:57 AM

Somehow I overlooked that they were specifically discussing zero-carb, and not paleo, diets. Frank, thanks for pointing that out.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 07, 2010
at 04:39 AM

Ambimorph, yes could be that in snowy areas, little carb was eating in winter. Then again, I never really believed that our ancestors were too stupid to store food for the winter and carby foods tend to store well. IMO, the only places on very low carb long term would be polar regions and the innuit have a highly specialized diet that most of us would not be willing to replicate.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on December 06, 2010
at 06:19 PM

I think in some places and times, much of the year was very low carb.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:54 PM

Thanks, Frank. Yes, we're a Paleo diet, we're hardly trying to discredit Paleo!

3
0c939bdddc3d8f8ef923ba8a72aeda71

on September 15, 2011
at 08:42 AM

The Drs. Jaminet seem like very nice people, etc. etc., but Lucas Tafur debunked their claims about the negative effects of ketogenic diets a few months ago.

http://www.ketotic.org/2011/03/ketomyths.html

http://www.ketotic.org/2011/03/ketomyths-ii.html

They are ill-founded.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:37 PM

Lucas is a great source and I love his work. And he does not have a book to sell either.

0c939bdddc3d8f8ef923ba8a72aeda71

on September 24, 2011
at 09:21 AM

Agreed, Lucas is awesome.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:59 PM

Lucas is good, but he seems to have misread our posts; they were about zero-carb dangers, not ketogenic diet dangers. We agree that with proper formulation ketogenic diets can be safe, and have written about how to achieve that. Also, his posts hardly debunked ours. They suggest some alternative possibilities, but in terms of mechanisms both our post and his are speculative. Both could be wrong. Regardless of what the mechanisms may be, it doesn't change the fact that some people run into health problems on extremely low-carb diets.

3
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 24, 2011
at 12:35 PM

Paul's ideas of gastrointestinal cancer production is completely unfounded. To generate them you need insulin ironically. So my belief based upon the known science is that now known that a paleo diet will not increase gastro intestinal cancers. It may infact reduce it. I do think he is spot on with his criticisms of vitamin C cycling and the fact that a paleo diet will limit gluconeogensis for performance met con. I think the point about a small liver is bordering on ridiculous to funny........unless your a crossfit metcon fool.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Quilt, there's no basis for the idea that you need insulin to generate GI cancers. Indeed, the Ames test readily induces carcinogenic changes in human cells without any insulin in the culture dish. I agree that a Paleo diet is a good one for cancer prevention, that's why I advocate a Paleo diet. The point about liver size we retracted in a later post.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on October 10, 2011
at 10:15 PM

Well done, Paul. You have managed to remain civil and discuss an issue without resorting to childish name calling and ad hominem attacks. You've even condeded a point that you needed to concede. It's too bad others can't follow your example. Oh, and you adhere to basic rules of grammar and usage, which makes you readable. Kudos, sir.

3
76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on December 06, 2010
at 05:06 AM

1: As far as I know, most paleos get enough carbs for adequate glucose, combined with the glucose created from protein.
2: Not sure exactly what they're saying with this one. What exactly about paleo causes gastrointestinal cancer? A mucus deficiency?
3: If a variety of veggies (and the occasional fruits) are eaten, I feel it is quite hard to get scurvy, even when few carbs are eaten to trigger insulin.
4: "Lots" of EPA & DHA is not paleo at all. Most paleos tend to have small to moderate amounts, and even smaller amounts of omega-6's; the ratio is the key. So even if I see a study linking high amounts of EPA & DHA to increased risk of kidney stones, I don't think it really applies to the paleo diet.

Just my two cents coming from a beginner paleohacker! :)

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 09:21 AM

Vitamin C problems are correct IMO.

Kidney stones are not, and if you are concerned supplement Magnesium as it has higher affinity to oxalates.

I beleive he might be correct about mucus deficiency. I got dry eyes following low carb (~75g) and my crepitus may be related.

Carb deficiency is based on theoretical limit of liver to produce glucose which is 400g per day based on Oxygen utilization. If that is correct, I believe it would affect blood glucose level so I don't think its true. As long as your BG is in correct range there is no such thing. The main problem seem to be absence of beneficial CHOs (malnutrition) like prebiotics, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid etc which body might not produce in optimal levels and stuff that accompanies them, like quecertin, policosanol, rasveratrol etc..

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 10, 2011
at 10:17 PM

Didn't you just a while ago claim that the Vitamin C problem is "ridiculous"? How quickly you change your feet? Maybe you should be a little more measure and reflective before sharing your thoughts. http://paleohacks.com/questions/68989/what-did-you-think-about-this-roundtable-email-questionaire-that-jimmy-moore-comp/69017#69017

0
5f68d806d776915a27bdf63099375322

on September 15, 2011
at 08:35 AM

@The Quilt

You could also just go over there and read the actual blog posts. For example, zero-very low carbers have higher fasting blood sugar than people eating enough glucose to keep glycogen stores full, since the body is trying to preserve glucose.

You can ask the Polish Optimal Dieters who died of various gut cancers after eating zero carb for 10-20 years how they feel about your statement.

The liver argument is described in one of the comments to someone asking about it, it's at least a reasonable sounding theory, unlike your completely baseless childish response. In any case, eating some glucose makes the diet more robust (the body does not have protein stores, so you need to time your diet with body needs, why bother? don't overflow the glycogen stores).

Read some more of the site, you can disagree but all arguments are at least backed by some reasoning, not hand waving.

(And of course, Paleo <> zero carb)

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:44 PM

Since I treat humans clinically and see the results I think I have my eye on the prize. I find it funny that most of the gastrointestinal cancers world wide are in India and the Far east.......stomach and pancreatic cancer is off the chain their. The number one world wide CA is hepatocellular CA from Hep C and D also endemic in that part of the world. These things must be recommended in context.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:41 PM

There are thousands of articles that show the benefits of ketogenic diet. I think when you have a diet book to sell it kinda pigeon holes you a bit. There is no one diet for everyone. Its all about individual biochemistry. The PHD is one that incorporates personal biochemical findings. I think Paul's book is quite for many people......its just not good for most of the patients I see. I think for the younger paleo crowd its full of great advice. IF you want to see a bunch of medicare people with neolithic disease and diabetes and osteoporosis this is not my top choice.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:58 PM

Quilt, don't you realize that HCC is mainly due to HBV which stems from access to immunization? Also, the prevalence of stomach/esophagus cancer has been attributed to the consumption of pickled veggies in that region. PHD did not attribute the prevalence of stomach/esophageal cancer to ketogenic diets; there's far too few people doing such diets in the first place. It was a comment based on anecdotal accounts of those who pursued Kwasinowski's Optimum Health Diet who died from such cance. OHD was actually zero carb.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 10, 2011
at 09:34 PM

I think paul may have some good ideas on zero carb.....but there is a segment of our human population who does great long term with it. They tend to have great control of sympathetic brainstem outflow tracts, high function adrenals and superb livers.....and all are very leptin sensitive. These people are not common so no one really talks about them much. I have had the pleasure of seeing a few dozen in my career......they taught me much.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on October 10, 2011
at 10:17 PM

"There are thousands of articles that ...." I challenge you to back that claim up. Show me thousands. I'll settle for one thousand articles. I'd prefer the "articles" to be peer-reviewed studies, but I'll settle for articles.

-3
642fe2757d267d1ed2b2225250e725dd

(-6)

on October 10, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Blah blah blah blah

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